2002: National Year Of Sovereign Conferences: A Mid-Year Review (2)

by Sam Abbd Israel


The Oputa Commission on Human Rights Violations has submitted its report. We must offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the members of this august Panel for the sacrifices they made, as they put their lives on the line, for the people of Nigeria. This writer hopes Nigerians haven’t forgotten the calibre of people – those that answers critics with timed-bombs, arrest and torture, poisons, special bullets, hired killers, etc. – the Panel was mandated to pursue. We must give the members of the panel our biggest thank you for seeing through the objectives set before them despite the maradonic efforts of some of these very important cruel Nigerians.

Whatever the Oputa Panel failed or succeeded to achieve, we cannot take away from it the opportunity it afforded aggrieved Nigerians to put their cases across to the nations of Nigeria. This is a first and a major act on the road to full mental recovery for anyone who has been psychologically traumatised or wounded. Without what the psychologist call catharsis – “the process of freeing repressed emotions by association with the cause, and elimination by abreaction” – full mental recovery for a psychologically maladjusted person or nation cannot take place.

Since this writer became aware of the spiritual and psychological ailments in the body politic, he has not desisted from pointing it out at every opportunity. He has not shirked away from alerting Nigerians and Nigeria to consider the diagnosis of the experts that says we are a sick nation. There is a need for everyone to acknowledge the presence of this debilitating ailment and each of us need to understand the origin and the root cause of the problem before we can begin to deal with the symptoms. It is this aspect that gives me personal grief when one sees how Nigerians, particularly the experts, continue to focus frantically on the symptoms while refusing to devote a comparable effort towards unravelling the root causes of the problem. This type of behaviours is one of the veritable signs that could easily lead to the conclusion that our madness is far from receiving a cure.

Let us spill it out, Nigeria is a country populated by too many mad people. It is a country with a high percentage of psychologically maladjusted, spiritually decadent, and morally bankrupted people. A good number of the nationals are in serious and urgent need of psychiatric confinement and treatment but they are roaming about the streets and more conspicuously they are strutting about in the corridors of power. If Nigerians neglect to take drastic actions, we should not be surprised if our neighbours both far and near, begin to erect the necessary barricades and walls around us to confine us to our polluted space and to stop us from contaminating them.

Oputa Panel could have been a resounding success if the more chronically mad among us that go by the title, President, Head of State, Commander in Chief (Thief) of the Armed Forces, General, and the Dishonourable leaders had co-operated with the physicians. Unfortunately, these eminent Nigerians are still in self-denial of their psychotic states. As one of the first steps towards recovery they were invited to face Nigerians in truth, humility and honesty. They blatantly refused. They used every trick in the legal books to evade the Justice Oputa’s summons. Now these eminent personalities that have no respect for our laws and no regard for the elected Government are now making magomago (clandestine) moves to wrest the political power of the nation once again. They are ready again to contaminate us with their maladies. They are itching once again to bully us into submission for another round of sadistic bashing. May God forbid bad things. God willing, they shall never succeed. And this writer sincerely believes that God is always on the side of the just and innocent. Let us pray and be watchful that never again shall chronically mad men take control of our lives and governments. Let us pray and be watchful that never again shall blind men, they are not even one-eyed men, lead us astray into another political, economic and social abyss. This is why the awakened Nigerians must mount every rooftop and raise the alarm to wake up the sleeping Nigerians from their stupid slumbers.

However, now that the Oputa panel had submitted its report, what does anybody think the Federal Government of Nigerian would do with the report? Dear Nigerians, let us face the obvious the FGN cannot and can never act on the recommendations of the Panel. It will definitely be out of character for this Government to act otherwise. This government, like all the previous FGN, has not got the mandate, the political will, the courage, and the conviction that spring forth out of the knowledge and understanding of laudable principles to act on behalf of Nigerians. By now this writer hopes Nigerians must have got the message that the FGN was never guided in the past and is not being guided now and neither was it guided from the very first day of its birth in 1914 by noble principles.

Let us mention it again, the entire edifice of the political structure of Nigeria, including the political actors and their moneybag sponsors that sprung out of it, were not built on love and courage. These two virtues are the natural fruits that flow from the tree of knowledge of the truth of life. Therefore, if Nigerians still expected positive actions or any action at all for that matter on this report then our inalienable rights to the fairyland is a forgone conclusion and unfortunately it shall forever be assured.


As the year 2003 draws close the airwaves is becoming more inundated and feverishly too by the noises emanating from the psychiatric quarters of the political gangsters of Nigeria. We are hearing that Very Important Top Dogs from the discredited military have started signalling their intentions and have actually thrown in their towels to participate in the 2003 Election. We are hearing that politicians with very serious conviction of the type that believes in the dictum of ‘Any Party in Power’ have started changing and decamping from one party to another. Even though there is still a full year to the election, governance and the day to day running of the already mediocre administration of state business have been neglected as incumbents are devoting their full attention to re-nomination and eventual winning of the next election.

Dear Fellow Nigerians, let us draw back for a moment and think as we ask our selves, can the present political activities to which the entire nation is foolishly engaged see us through the political quagmire of waste and hopelessness? Can the unchanging process and the national tradition of recycling chronically mad Nigerians as occupiers of the highest political offices in the land lead our people out of the Homo Sapiens endangered specie list? Can the unrepentant members of the Wasted Generation be trusted again after many years of abuse of office and of our trust to continue with their vile activities without leading us into final human and material catastrophe? These and many similar questions should occupy our minds, as the election process is set into gear. Alas, this is not the case.

Taking our bearing from comments particularly from Nigerians in the Diaspora, we are saddled with legal gymnastics of why and how Nigerians with dual nationalities should or should not be denied votes in the forth-coming elections. We read of Nigerians leaving and working abroad who are campaigning from their foreign bases for a right to contest election in Nigeria. And we heard of those offering support to one contestant or another in a political milieu of which they lack knowledge and understanding. Are these Nigerians making full use of the wealth of knowledge and practical experiences of the Mickey Mouse – the type where the more you look the less you see – democratic practices in the western world? How could Nigerians in the Diaspora give freely their support to what is going on in Nigeria under nascent democracy? How can we expect that this political brew will produce anything worthwhile and beneficial to all apart from pain and sorrow?

The answers to these questions cannot be got by magic but by the application of common sense. It is obvious most Nigerians are of the pragmatic opinion that it is safer to keep muddling through our political problems rather than facing up to the serious intellectual and spiritual questions of our lives. And Nigerians are desperately hoping that by a miraculous divine intervention along the No Hope Highway that we are presently treading we shall get to the Promised Land eventually. Dream on Brothers and Sisters!


Our inherited colonial mentality has indoctrinated us into believing there is merit in the Western and Middle Eastern concept of leadership. It is therefore a common practice for Nigerians to hang their woes on the shoulders of ‘leaders’. It is with joy one reads the contribution of some very concerned Nigerians who are refuting the popular jingoism of such oxy-moron words like Igbo Leader, Arewa Leader, Yoruba Leader, etc. These analysts felt insulted and greatly offended by such stupid ideology in the political arena.

SNC is expected to put to rest such illicit ideas from our political thought. The New Nigeria of our dream cannot entertain such moronic subservient concept of leadership. It is a Nigeria where every Nigerian shall be a leader by sovereign rights of equality. It is the leadership over self, first and foremost, before anything else or participation in the political arena. The kind of conventional leadership practice presently on display in the political world of every nation is a counterfeit of a noble principle. This type of leadership is made up of people who have not succeeded in emancipating themselves from the base instincts of nature. It is populated by people who are driven by a conspicuous consumption habit and a vulgar appetite for vanity and not by noble humble conviction. By people driven by compromise as wheeler-dealers and not by moral values and ethical principles. And by people driven by a desire to acquire power for personal pride and self-aggrandisement and not for the love of fellow human beings as a means of rendering altruistic services to the commonwealth.

These are some of the principles the knowledge of sovereign and sovereignty and the Sovereign Conferences would highlight as we identify and define leadership values and practices in Nigeria. These issues are urgent and important and we shall encourage Nigerians to debate them earnestly with passion in the media, in the classrooms, in the churches, in the mosques, in the markets, in the offices and in every social gathering. We must put a stop to the pedantic debate of who is the Igbo leader or Yoruba Leader or Arewa Leader or Ogoni Leader or Fulani Leader, etc. It is the leadership of each Nigerian we must endeavour to cultivate from henceforth. It is the personal leadership over immoral values and the sad raw human nature that should engage our consciousness as a people on the road to the Promised Land.

There are many other contemporary issues floating about in cyber-space but the few reviewed above are sufficient as veritable materials to support the suggestion that the time for Sovereign Conferences in Nigeria is now or never. We cannot and we should not continue on our present way, to do so flows against the grain of common sense. What are we scared of? How can any sane energetic person who is not crippled allow his or her house to fall into disuse or become a wasteland? How can any intelligent person with love in his/her heart continue to witness the suffering and wretchedness of fellow citizens and refuses to lift a finger because of fear of marauders who have hijacked the political institutions of the Nigeria State since the moment of its birth? These few observations are strong enough to justify why we cannot run away from the project of Sovereign Conferences.

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